August 2, 2014
Movie Night: Conan the Destroyer.
Review #624: Conan the Destroyer.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Conan), Grace Jones (Zula), Wilt Chamberlain (Bombaata), Olivia d'Abo (Princess Jehnna), Mako (Akiro), Tracey Walter (Malak), Pat Roach (Man Ape/Toth-Amon), and Sarah Douglas (Queen Taramis) Directed by Richard Fleischer (#460 - Doctor Dolittle)
Back in my review of Conan the Barbarian (#323), I may have hinted that I would review the sequel right after I reviewed the first film (My transcript even proves this: Conan would be successful in his own right, with momentum for a sequel. But that is another tale that...shall also be told. With regrets either before or after watching it.)...but I didn't. Instead, I reviewed Commando, and looking back, that might have been a blessing in disguise. So 301 reviews after the first one (Reviewer announcement: The rating for #323 will be changed from 7 out of 10 to 8.), here we are with the sequel (BTW, props to IFC for showing this film, they're a quirky network, but any place that shows Batman is a winner in my book.), with less emphasis on violence and more humor (because that's what was truly missing from the first film, a sidekick character). So yeah, the movie is significantly more campier, and it loses the brutal awesomeness of the first film, though at least Arnold looks like he's trying. The main problem is that we get a typical quest fantasy film that would be fine, if this wasn't a Conan film, where action is overblown, but massively entertaining. The cast is okay, but Walter does get on your nerves eventually. Seriously though, was a comic relief sidekick really necessary for a film like this? The answer is no. At least the action is fine, for a film as hokey and disappointing as this. I know this sounds redundant, but check out the first film, at least that had a midnight drive in charm, this just has a "pandering to families" feel. And before you point out that I just referenced the 1960's Batman show and then criticise this film for stuff that the show did, the show (and the movie) had a charm of its own, made in a simpler time, while this film was toned down from its awesome roots to a mediocre disappointment. There are apparently plans for a sequel, which is honestly surprising given that it's been over 30 years since this film, but anything is possible. Watch at your own risk, then go check out the books, I guess. Movie Night supports reading (obviously), of any sort.
Overall, I give it 5 out of 10 stars.